One-On-One With Wilson Staff’s Carly Werwie

Feature Interview: Symetra Tour’s Carly Werwie, Wilson Staff Advisory Staff Member
With London Ontario Golf Editor Jeffrey Reed

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A multiple sport athlete, 24-year-old Carly Werwie of Kenosha, Wisconsin decided to solely focus on golf once she entered high school, and she hasn’t looked back. She began as many youngsters do, playing golf a few holes at a time with her father at her side. Eventually, the University of Wisconsin – Madison came calling. In 2010, Werwie had a breakthrough individual victory at the Badgers’ home tournament. That win was enough to convince Werwie to pursue a career as a professional golfer. She currently competes on the Symetra Tour and passed Stage 2 of Q-school in October 2013, giving her a spot in the third and final stage of Q-School last December in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Coming off a T22 at the Decatur-Forsyth Classic on the Symetra Tour, Werwie is excited about her game this season – another year with Wilson Staff in the bag. During the 2014 season, London Ontario Golf will feature a number of Wilson Staff’s Tour Players and Advisory Staff members. This is the first feature in that series.

Jeffrey Reed/London Ontario Golf: With this the 100th anniversary of the Wilson Staff brand, the 2014 lineup of gear looks pretty exciting.
Carly Werwie: Very exciting! Mine just arrived last week.
Reed:  I saw your Twitter post of your new C100 irons, and FG Tour M3 irons. You’ll play both this year on the Symetra Tour?
Werwie:  Yes, I’ll play a C100 5 iron and 6 iron, and not sure about my 7 iron yet. I’ll bring my clubs to Arizona and figure it out. It’s been so cold here this winter, so I can hardly wait to head south.
Reed:  You started golfing in Kenosha at age 4 – so young!
Werwie: It was! But I didn’t compete in any tournaments until I was 10.
Reed: That is still very young.
Werwie: There’s a driving range here at home, and my dad worked there when I was in public and high school. The range owners have become really, really close family friends. We would just drive over there and just hit a bucket here and there. That’s how I started.
Reed: Then you got serious about golf, competing in the U.S. Girls Junior tournament in 2005 and ’06, and the U.S. Public Links tournament four consecutive years from 2006 to 2009. Then came the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 2007 and again in 2011. That’s an impressive lineup. But your career really blossomed when you walked onto the University of Wisconsin campus, where you won the 2010 Badger Invitational tournament.

Carly-WerwieWerwie: I didn’t have an outstanding college career. I won that tournament, and I still hold two records. But since then, I have really improved my short game. I’ve worked really hard at it, with two different coaches in college.
Reed: It has paid off, not only with the 2010 Badger Invitational win, but also with the 2011 Big Ten Sportsmanship Award – a huge honour within your conference.
Werwie: It was. The Sportsmanship Award recognizes someone who demonstrates sportsmanship over a long period of time over the year, as voted by coaches. So I’m proud of it.
Reed: Now here you are, competing as a professional on the Symetra Tour. Tell me how Wilson Staff partnered with you?
Werwie:  My best friend growing up – her dad works for Wilson Sporting Goods. Of course, he always told my dad, “Carly should try Wilson Staff clubs! She should go to (Wilson headquarters in) Chicago and get fitted!” (Laughing). And I am very happy with my Wilson Staff clubs. I used to play (other clubs). But once I graduated I wanted to do the best I could do with my golf, and push myself further. I knew I needed a change of equipment. So I went to Chicago, got fitted, played the entire 2012 season with Wilson Staff. I played in one Symetra Tour event, then had four tournaments in 2013.
I graduated and I knew I wanted to do more with golf and push through it further. I knew I needed to change my equipment if I wanted to get better. Then I thought, Well, you know why not try Wilson? So I went down to Chicago and got fitted. Last year I played the Ci11 irons, and loved them.
Reed: I also played the Ci11 irons in 2013 – terrific clubs. Can’t wait to put the C100 irons in my bag this year.
Werwie: I really like them a lot. I also played the D100 woods – they are great, really improved my game. Helped me bring my game to another level.
Reed: We hear so many times about players switching equipment. But it’s really about playing what is best for your game.
Werwie: Absolutely. I’ve also switched to Wilson Staff wedges. That was a big change for me, I’ll be honest. But one I put them in my bag for a first tournament, I loved them. They’re great. I’ll be fit with the M3 woods when I’m in Arizona. But I love the D100 hybrid. I have a lot of confidence with it.

werwie4Reed: So back to the Symetra Tour, what is your status in 2014?
Werwie: They’ve changed the categories on the Symetra Tour this year. If you finished in the top 80 on the money list, you’re in category A. I’m in category D, ranked 158th. A lot of girls ahead of me have conditional LPGA Tour status, and they’ll be playing on both tours. Definitely, though, getting to the final stage (of Q-School) will help me.
Reed: It’s going to be exciting following you this year as your career starts to blossom.
Werwie: Thank you! I’m very excited about this season.
Reed: You turn 25 on February 15. At this stage of your career, what is it going to take for you to take it to the next level? You have the talent. Is it partially about catching a break?
Werwie: Yes, I would agree with that. You have to have the skills, but the stars have to align for you as well. Like you say, you have to catch a good break but perform well, too. I need to be more consistent, cut back on my mistakes out. I had a lot of three-putts. That’s why I’ve been practicing – putting differently. And my short game is improved. I’ll be able to get up and down. My driving and ball striking is solid. But I need to take advantage of scoring opportunities.
Reed: Back to Wilson Staff equipment, which will be an important partner for you again in 2014. Are you playing the new FG Tour ball? There’s a lot of buzz about it.

werwie2Werwie: Yes, and I really like it. I played The Titleist Pro V1 all through high school and college. But I’m playing the FG Tour and I have full confidence in it.
Reed: Talk about Arizona – where you’re preparing for the season.
Werwie: The first Symetra event is in the Phoenix area (February 21-23, Visit Mesa Gateway Classic at Longbow Club, Mesa, Arizona). I’ll head out there, practice a bit and hopefully get in the field. If not, then I’ll be there practicing for three weeks. Then I’ll come home before making my way to Florida for our events there. Once March begins, our season really picks up.
Reed: Who is your swing coach?
Werwie: I just worked with him this morning – Dave Rasmussen. I’ve been with him since high school, which is rare, being with someone for that long. I’m really happy with where everything’s going with my golf game, so hopefully that’ll show this season.
Reed: How about the six inches between the ears? Are you ready to take it to the next level?

werwie5Werwie:  Absolutely. I agree that golf is a very mental game. A lot of people who aren’t into golf find it hard to understand. It requires a lot of mental toughness, a lot of hard work. In golf, it’s all on you. Golf’s the same as tennis and boxing. If you don’t do the work, then you’re the only one that can take the blame. I think I’ve grown from last year. It continues to be fun, too. If it isn’t fun anymore, then it’s time to get out into the “real world.”
Reed: Well, as a Wilson Staff advisory staff member myself, I know that Wilson is thrilled to have you on board this year.
Werwie: Wilson really is like a big, happy family, and I love that. They really care about you – your game, your personal life, how everything is coming together for you. It’s good to know that I am with a company who cares for both me and my golf game.
Reed: I couldn’t agree more. Best of luck to you this season!
Werwie: Thanks Jeff, I appreciate it!

Follow Carly Werwie on Twitter here and Facebook here.
Watch a video of Carly Werwie and Wilson Staff marketing specialist Alessandra Bollero here as they chat at the Wilson innovation centre prior to the 2013 season.

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Carly Werwie: What’s In The Bag?
Wilson Staff FG Tour M3 Irons
Wilson Staff FG Tour M3 Driver
Wilson Staff FG Tour M3 Fairway Woods
Wilson Staff FG Tour TC Wedges
Wilson Staff FG Tour Golf Ball
Wilson Staff neXus Carry Golf Bag
Wilson Staff Women’s Conform Glove
Wilson Staff Rain Gloves
Wilson Staff Microfiber Caddie Golf Towel
Wilson Staff Cap 
Wilson Staff Visor 

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office www.JeffreyReedReporting.com established 1989.

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